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Better Off Dead... (1985) Poster

Goofs

Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When the paper boy first comes to collect his two dollars (at Lane's front door), his voice does not match his lip movements.
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At the very end of the movie, Lane squeals the tires on a snow-covered road as he drives away.
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When Lane plays his sax to Monique at dinner, his fingers don't match the music being played. Also, the sound of the saxophone is performed on a digital sampler.
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When Monique is throwing fruit at the sign she is only slightly bending over to pick up the fruit. When we see her from further away, the fruit is on the ground - at a height level much lower than to which she stoops to pick them up. When we see her closer again in the next shot to throw more fruit, she is only stooping half way again.
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Character error 

The math teacher tells Lane to show the class his solution to the "paltry geometric dilemma". A dilemma is a difficult decision - math problems can't have dilemmas, because they can't think. The correct word would be "conundrum".
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In the scene in the lunchroom, when Lane decides to ask out the cheerleader, his drawing of Beth shows the cheerleader's name as Chris Cremmins, but in the credits she is listed as Chris Cummins.
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Lane's mother gives her husband a coat for Christmas, which she says is made out of "aardvark fur". Aardvarks don't have fur; they have a tough hide.
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Continuity 

During the final ski race, the sun alternates back and forth between midday, late day, and completely overcast in the span of less than 10 minutes.
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In Lane's first race with the Ree brothers, the signal changes from yellow to red for him, and changes from yellow to green for cross traffic.
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As Lane and Monique, in the newly-fixed Camaro, drive up to the car with the Ree brothers and their dates, the wide shot shows the foursome noticing and looking over at the Camaro. However, in the next shot they are still chatting amongst themselves and haven't seen the Camaro yet.
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Lane's can of Diet Coke appears and disappears during the slime meal.
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Bike tracks across the infield indicating numerous takes.
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Monique's jacket while trying the K12 one last time.
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Lane has blood on his lower lip after getting beat up by the basketball team; in a shot immediately following there's not a cut on his lip.
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Lane in sitting in class and pulls a folded piece of paper out of his pocket. It is clearly wrinkled and has a wad of gum in the middle. Later, he holds up the piece of paper, smooth and no sign of gum.
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When Ricky is holding his doll next to Monique on Christmas morning, the doll jumps around between shots.
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When Lane breaks his ski, it is broken upwards, but when he takes it to the shop, it reverses direction to point downward.
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The color and design of the steering wheel of Lane's station wagon changes immediately after the crash.
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Both Roy and Lane agree to have their showdown at the K-12 at high noon on Sunday. But when they eventually race, the sun is low in the sky indicating that it is early morning or late afternoon.
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While they are having a "French" dinner the jar of primer jumps around the table.
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At the "French" dinner when Mrs. Smith pours the primer in her cup the liquid is a light pink color, but when she goes to drink the primer it is a bright red color.
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When Lane passes out at the wheel of the car in the garage, he slumps over with his head against the steering wheel, but when the car crashes through the door and backs down the driveway, the driver's head can be seen as though he is sitting straight up.
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When Lane is drawing at lunch, he is clearly drawing on a spiral sketch pad but when the characters begin talking to him it is on a single sheet of paper with no spiral
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During the scene when Monique and Lane are in his garage working on his car, the lettering on the tires change positions in each shot such that the tire manufacturer name on the tires are always visible. The tires appear to have been turned between each shot to make sure the manufacturer's name for product placement appears correctly.
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When Lane does the burnout beside the Cosell brothers, the wind is blowing the smoke away from the Ford Falcon. In the next camera shot, the smoke is blowing into the Ford Falcon.
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When Lane and Monique escape the mountain at the end of the movie, they are clearly without skis and poles. On the LA highway afterward, white skis are clearly visible on the rack.
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After Lane and Monique ski all the way down the mountain, starting from the top of the K12, Lane skis away to escape from Johnny the paperboy. He emerges back at the top of the mountain in time to race - apparently having skied back up the mountain, with Johnny continuing to follow.
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Lane trips on the skates and accidentally pulls Chris' cheerleader outfit down around her ankles, exposing her underwear-clad body to the cafeteria. In the next shot that shows the outfit, it is away from her body, closer to lane, not near her feet. If Lane had actually pulled the outfit out from under her skate-clad feet, she would have tripped.
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At the end of the movie when the Monique and Lane are kissing at Dodgers Stadium, you can see bike tracks in the dirt and grass where the paperboy had ridden in previous takes.
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Size of the slime meal.
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The High School quest singer is wearing a sleeveless dress. The next song she sings she has puffed sleeves on her dress.
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When Monique knocks Lane down, as he gets up, he says, "You're that French kid staying with the dorkheads, uhh.. Smiths next door." However, it seems apparent in a later shot (when Monique is throwing oranges) that the Smiths actually live across the street.
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The number of plates jumps from three to one between two shots, both of which contain Mrs. Meyers in the slime dinner scene. Also, even though her hands are never out of the camera's view throughout the entire serving, she is never shown serving herself and yet has a full plate.
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Crew or equipment visible 

Camera and operator visible during the final ski race with the paper boy.
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While the dad is trying to open the garage door to prevent the last window from being broken, a gray-haired crew member can be seen reflected in one of the broken windows.
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Crew is visible when the cafeteria doors "spontaneously" swing open as Ricky enters the school dance.
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When Lane is contemplating jumping off the bridge, you can see the shadow of a safety cord attached to his waist. At certain points you can actually see the cord.
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Errors in geography 

After Roy and Lane's showdown on the K-12, a sign can be seen in the background revealing the ski slope to be in the state of Utah. The film is set in Northern California.
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Factual errors 

Lane tosses his stereo out of his car, but the song continues to play until the radio hits the ground. It should have stopped playing the instant it was removed from the dash.
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If you speak French you can easily tell that Monique is played by an actor who's first language is English by her accent, and by errors in genre such as "Le voiture".
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

On Christmas morning, Al Meyer is putting a bow on the garage door, he is using a ladder. However, when he stands on the driveway in front of the garage, he is eye-level with the bow. Clearly, he did not need the ladder to put either the windows in or the bow on. Exactly, that's the joke.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Lane lights the three candles in the restaurant, the ambient light brightens much more than three candles would allow.
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When Lane is getting ready for his date with Joanne Greenwald and he starts spraying deodorant, as he lowers the can below the bottom of the mirror, you can see two streams of deodorant. The smaller is from the can Lane is holding, and the huge one is from something out of the sight of the camera.
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When Lane's father is reading the book on teenage drug use, the camera focuses in on the headline of the chapter: "Paranoia". The first two lines of the chapter are visible & are obviously "Greeked" or made-up nonsense text.
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At the end of the movie when the Monique and Lane are kissing at Dodgers Stadium, you can clearly see bike tracks in the dirt and grass where the paperboy had ridden in previous takes.
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When Charles exclaims "the whole mountain is pure snow" and supposedly inhales a big snort of it, you can see the snow slipping through his fingers onto the ground as he lets it fall.
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In the opening minutes after Al gets the rolled up newspaper that was thrown, he stands in the kitchen and talks about it being Sunday, but in the earlier scene showing the paper being thrown, it was obviously a weekday edition - much smaller than a Sunday edition.
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Spoilers 

The goof item below may give away important plot points.

Revealing mistakes 

In the scene where the paperboy careers off the mountain, just as he knocked off course by Roy, the stunt double is obviously a full grown adult.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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